First woman pleads guilty among 27 in shocking care home abuse

A 46-year-old woman was the first to plead guilty to child abuse among 27 staffers of Hong Kong Society for the Protection of Children facing the charge over the shocking abuse of over 40 kids.

This came as 10 female defendants appeared in Kowloon City Magistrates' Courts on Thursday afternoon.

Appearing before acting principal magistrate Wong Nga-yan, Heung Wing-shan pleaded guilty to willful assault and ill-treatment toward the two-year-old boy, identified as “B” in court, under her custody between November 30 and December 17 last year.

The charge accused Heung, who was a senior childcare worker at that time, of grabbing B's hair, pulling his head and pushing his head against a wall.

Her sentence will be passed down on June 22, awaiting the court to retrieve background and community service reports. She has been released on bail.

Heung started working at the society's Children Residential Home since 1996 as a relief childcare worker and became a registered childcare supervisor in 1998.

The child abuse case was unearthed as a nearby resident, whose bedroom overlooks the playground of the care home, informed the society of the abuse via an email on December 17, 2021.

Former superintendent of the care home Chui Wai-ying was informed of the said email the next day. She then reviewed the security camera footage and reported the case to the Social Welfare Department and the police a few days later.

Heung was arrested by police on December 21 last year.

As for the other nine defendants, they needed not to enter plea yet and saw their cases adjourned to July and August.

Police have laid charges against a total of 27 female staffers over the abuse and the cases for the other 17 defendants have been referred to the District Court for scheduling already.